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By now, you all have seen those bumpy, greenish-black globes called avocados in your grocery store. Avocado is considered by many to be a “superfood” and lots of people love the taste. They can be creamy and have a subtle flavor. Beyond taste, avocados have numerous health benefits, too.
Advantages of Eating Avocados
Protects Against Eye Disease
Avocados have the antioxidant, lutein, that is needed to help prevent eye disease. Not only that, but avocados also enhance the eye-disease-fighting nutrients in other foods when paired with them. Other good sources of lutein are: spinach, tomatoes, kale, carrots, corn, and other deep green, orange, or yellow-colored fruits or veggies. To get the most benefit for your eyes, toss sliced or diced avocado in a salad with spinach, carrots, red peppers, and corn.
Helps Lose Weight
Avocados do have a good amount of fiber in them – 3.4 grams of fiber in half an avocado. Fiber is an essential element to helping you lose weight and make you feel full. In addition, the oleic acid in an avocado creates a reaction in the brain to make you feel full after eating avocado. For a yummy, filling, less fatty treat, use mashed avocado instead of mayo or butter on a sandwich.
Protects Pregnant Women and Their Unborn Babies
Avocados have a high rate of folate, an essential nutrient that helps lower the rate of birth defects in pregnant women. An added bonus of folate is that it helps prevent heart disease and heart attacks as well.
Keeps Blood Sugar Stable
After you eat avocado, your blood sugar will be more stable and will not spike because avocado slows your digestion. This is important for people who cannot easily control their blood sugar levels.
It can increase the healthy cholesterol and lower the unhealthy cholesterol in your body. You can thank the oleic acid in avocado again for that. A plant chemical in avocados called betasitosterol also helps lower cholesterol.
Promotes Healthy Blood Flow
The monounsaturated fats are good for promoting healthy blood flow. Healthy blood flow is important for many body functions, such as aiding mental activity and decreasing blood pressure.
Provides Necessary Nutrients
Avocados are an excellent source of potassium, vitamin C, iron, and B6 as well. Just as with lutein, combining avocado with different fruits and veggies will aid in the absorption of immunity-boosting nutrients and vitamins. So don’t eat it alone!
Downsides to Eating Avocado
Although they obviously have enormous heath benefits, avocados also have downsides to them. First, they are high in fat and calories. With one avocado, you would be getting 30 grams of fat and 300-plus calories. However, it helps that the fat is monounsaturated fat, which is good for cholesterol and heart disease. Of course, like any other food, you want to eat avocados in moderation.
Secondly, not many people know that a person can be allergic to avocados. If you are allergic to latex, you may be allergic to avocados, too. An enzyme in avocado (called chitinase) causes allergic reactions in some people so be careful before trying the fruit if you’ve never had it before.
You have to weigh out the pluses and minuses of eating avocados as it relates to your own life and your family’s health. But many people find avocados a highly nutritious and delicious food to add to their diets.